By Everson Mushava
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has vowed to keep the Zimbabwe crisis on the table despite a spirited campaign by Zanu PF to shrug it off.
Lindiwe Zulu, the head of the ANC’s international relations committee, said the envoys that were in Harare last week would report to President Cyril Ramaphosa today.
Zulu said they were determined to follow through the resolutions they reached in their engagements with Zanu PF, including returning for a meeting with opposition groups in Zimbabwe.
“We have resolutions that were communicated,” she said “We are very serious about what we are doing.
Zanu PF on Friday launched an unprecedented attack against ANC and the South African government after envoys despatched by the follow liberation movement pressed for talks with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rivals.
The ANC despatched a six-member delegation to Harare to meet Zanu PF over the crisis characterised by a vicious government crackdown against critics and an economic meltdown.
Zanu PF went ballistic after the ANC disclosed the nature of the discussions that included the need for the South Africans to meet opposition parties such as MDC Alliance and civil society to get an appreciation of the problems facing the country.
Patrick Chinamasa, the Zanu PF acting spokesperson, said the South African government was controlled by white people, hence the ANC decision to disclose what they discussed.
Zulu said today’s meeting with Ramaphosa would determine the way forward.
“We are doing this to help our people and we should focus on the way forward,” she added.
Sources, however, insisted South Africa was not ready to bow down to Zanu PF pressure and would continue pushing for a resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis.
Mnangagwa yesterday told a Zanu PF Midlands provincial meeting that the envoys sent by Ramaphosa had no mandate to meet the opposition and civil society.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa never sent envoys to investigate Zimbabwe,” the president said in Gweru.
“The envoys carried a message from my friend Ramaphosa to me.
“They were never sent to meet civil society and other political parties.
Meanwhile, it emerged that the meeting between Zanu PF and the ANC last Wednesday was highly charged.
Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu was reportedly forced to apologise for attacks made by Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba against South African journalist Sophie Mokoena after the ANC delegation raised the issue.
Charamba has in recent weeks been involved in slanging matches on Twitter with Mokoena over SABC’s coverage of the Zimbabwe crisis.
Mnangagwa’s spokesperson has also been criticising the ANC’s efforts to mediate in the Zimbabwean political crisis.
Zanu PF was also reportedly put on the spot over alleged human rights violations such as abductions and abitrary arrests.
The ruling party’s claims that the abduction of opposition activists were stagemanaged did not find takers, people familiar with the discussions between the two parties said.
Zanu PF protested against South Africa’s move to give refuge to loyalists of the late Robert Mugabe that escaped the country during the 2017 military coup.
In response, the ANC delegation said it had treated the so-called G40 members the same way it had given Mnangagwa sanctuary when he was being persecuted by Mugabe.
They also raised concern about Zimbabwe’s alleged despatching of spies to South Africa to track down its opponents.